Champions League: Format changes planned for 2024 set to be delayed or scrapped

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By Simon Stone
BBC Sport at Geneva
The radical changes to European soccer are very most likely to either be delayed or scrapped.
A Champions League comprising four teams of eight clubs to the eight teams of four was being proposed by uefa.
The suggestions came after pressure from theatres under the“big five“ – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
However no consensus has been reached.
A third party contest which begins in 2021, promotion and relegation from the Europa League and the newest Europa League two, had been indicated as a way of ensuring a rotation of clubs, to prevent the Champions League looking to become a competition.
Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar was among the most vocal demanding shift, pointing from the current qualification system might have led to his club with no European soccer at all after August, though they came within seconds of getting to last year’s Champions League final before Lucas Moura’s dramatic injury-time target for Tottenham at Amsterdam.
Though the clubs stay committed to change, the probability is that whatever implemented by 2024 will be not as radical than originally envisaged.
Ex-Netherlands goalkeeper Van der Sar was present in Geneva on Monday for its first day of a two-day assembly of Europe’s top nightclubs, where England’s“big six“ clubs – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United – were represented.
Sources have said resolving the Ajax“problem“ is relatively simple and could be accomplished by permitting all semi-finalists into the group stage and introducing a play-off to the fourth-placed teams in both lowest-ranking leagues who get four automatic team phase slots – currently Italy and Germany.
A barrier to implementing the changes is concern one of the major leagues, such as the Premier League, which if the strategy of Uefa results in greater tv earnings for their competitions, it is going to come at the cost of their national competitions.
There’s debate about this, however, the opinion is widely held and places clubs in these competitions in loggerheads with counterparts from the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and Scotland, amongst others, where big-name clubs have been restricted in their ability to progress because accessibility to TV cash out of their own domestic competitions is strictly limited.
They believe the difference will end up being so broad unless action is taken quickly, it will never be bridged.
Last season, the Premier League’s bottom club, Huddersfield, earned #96.6m TV money independently. In 2018, Scottish champions Celtic’s overall earnings, such as prize money in the Champions League, was #101.6m, with a sum which has been decreased markedly in 2019 because of their failure to meet the requirements for the group stages of Europe’s elite competitors.
It’s the lack of consensus which resulted in Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin cancelling the crucial tri-party discussions (between Uefa, the leagues as well as the clubs) that were due to be held in Switzerland on Wednesday.
These discussions are put back with chances being that they might not be held before the end of the season.
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